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President golfs; first lady visits HomeSafe with Easter treats


President Donald Trump began his Easter weekend with a visit to his golf club on Friday while first lady Melania Trump visited a group home for abused girls near Lake Worth.

Trump, who arrived Thursday, is making his seventh visit to his Mar-a-Lago estate since becoming president.

RELATED: Complete President Trump coverage

The president spent four hours at nearby Trump International Golf Club in unincorporated West Palm Beach, arriving about 10 a.m. and leaving about 2 p.m. The White House didn’t reveal Trump’s activities, but it appeared to be his 15th time playing golf in 12 weeks as president.

Melania Trump made an unannounced visit to seven girls at a group home for victims of abuse and domestic violence operated by HomeSafe just outside Lake Worth.

“This is a day that the girls will never forget,” said Matthew Ladika, the HomeSafe chief executive officer.

RELATED: Photo gallery of President Trump’s Easter weekend visit

The first lady arrived at about 10:15 a.m. and spent about 45 minutes talking with a group of girls between the ages of 12 and 17, Ladika said. The girls were all removed from their families by court orders and placed in HomeSafe’s residential program, the agency said.

“It was extra special and touching…She asked them what their interests are,” Ladika said.

Melania Trump brought the girls gifts and brought Easter baskets and stuffed bunnies for other children at other HomeSafe residences. HomeSafe has capacity for 40 boys and 8 girls at its residences.

Ladika said the Secret Service visited the Lake Worth residence on Thursday to check it out before Melania Trump’s visit.

“I had a wonderful time visiting @HomeSafeFla today! The young ladies I spoke with hold so much promise for the future,” said a tweet on the firt lady’s official Twitter account later in the day.

As Trump’s latest weekend in Palm Beach continues, anti-Trump demonstrators plan to march locally and across the nation on Saturday to demand he release his income-tax returns. The West Palm Beach march, one of 12 scheduled in Florida, begins outside Trump Plaza on Flagler Drive at noon and is scheduled to go more than 3 miles to Mar-a-Lago.

The tax march was chosen for the nation’s traditional April 15 deadline to file taxes, even though Tax Day this year actually is Tuesday, April 18.

Star Fae, who helped organize an anti-Trump march that drew about 5,000 in January, said she expects about 2,000 people for Saturday’s protest.

Presidents are not required to release their tax returns, but every president since Jimmy Carter has done so.

In another blow for transparency advocates, the White House announced Friday that it will no longer release logs of visitors to the White House.

After some litigation, former President Barack Obama’s administration began releasing visitor records in 2009. White House lawyers also deleted names for national security and other reasons before the logs were made public, meaning the records provided an incomplete picture of exactly who entered and left the gates of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.

As incomplete as the Obama documents were, his administration ultimately released nearly 6 million records.

“Given the grave national security risks and privacy concerns of the hundreds of thousands of visitors annually, the White House Office will disclose Secret Service logs as outlined under the Freedom of Information Act, a position the Obama White House successfully defended in federal court,” said White House Communications Director Michael Dubke.

The conservative group Judicial Watch was among those slamming the Trump administration’s decision.

“This new secrecy policy undermines the rule of law and suggests this White House doesn’t want to be accountable to the American people,” Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said Friday.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.



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